The Moralist By Madison Wanamaker
(05/06/13 21:51:35)Related animal: Human After reading Steve Baker's, "The idiot, the Voyeur and the Moralist" from "Artist Animal (Posthumanities)", questions of morality and philosophy in art, and in other disciplines, seem to arise. Below are my person responses to questions regarding the reading.
1. What does Steve Baker think of Randy Malamud and others who criticize artists working with animals of being non-ethical?
Baker believes, in short, that these "pieces" need to be looked at case by case, and that you can not categorize all of these "artist" as a non-ethical group. There are collaborators and there are those using animals as tools.
2. According to Baker, what is the issue with looking at the ethical issues of an artwork before making a proper reading of it?
Baker once again believes that the pieces need to be looked at individually, because though some seem un-ethical at first they may stimulate a discussion that leads to awareness, and is ultimately positive.
3. What is some of Baker's criticism of the Rat Piece and Helena?
Baker believes that the Rat Piece is not so much a collaboration between the artist and the animal, but more of the artist using the rat as a tool to send a message. Putting the Rat Piece in the same category as respectful and true collaboration with animals is a disservice.
4. Is Baker defending the Rat Piece and Helena? How/Why?
I think that Baker is pointing out that though it is tragic that a rat was burned and a fish died in a blender, we can acknowledge that it is tragic and that in it's self is a kind of positive moral realization.
5. According to Baker, can we trust artist to work with/use animals?
He believes we can regardless of that fact that some do it unresponsibly.
6. Do you think artist have ethical responsibilities? Why/why not? What are those ethical responsibilities in regards to working with animals?
I think that artists should have no more a responsibility then any one else "using" animals, however it would seem a responsibility is thrust upon them. Artists are traditionally depicting things that are worth looking at or experiencing over and over aging. I think audiences feel betrayed by art when it does not meet the moral standard.
7. What does Bryndis Snaebjornsdotter mean when she says it is impossible to ask if it is ethical to use animals in art without also asking if it is ethical to use them in science and for food? Do you agree/disagree?
I think that Bryndis Snaebjornsdotter means that art should not be less valid then then science or consumption, therefore it should not have higher standards. I do agree that art should be as valid as science or anything else. However, in some situations food is not accessible enough to choose or not choose to eat animal products, and those animals may be treated unfairly, like food or possessions. I believe that in those situations the animals lives are not respected, but it is justified by the fact they were needed to keep someone alive. Similarly I find scientific research done on animals that is beneficial to the species to be moral even if it may hurt the individual. I think that animal relationships need to be judged on there morality on a one on one basis... though it is ironic that animal cruelty in art gains so much attention when most people eat horribly treated animals every day. [Write Comment]